Our top tips for adding storytelling to your repertoire

(from Green et al., Facets, February 2018)

  • Identify your take-home message first. Start with the end in mind.
  • Remember the shape of your story. Tracking the main character’s fortune over time moves the story forward.
  • Consider the scale and timing of your story. Cut irrelevant background, processes and methods if they don’t move the story forward in a compelling way.
  • Use vivid language. Help the reader feel like he or she is there.
  • Get feedback. Pause. Reflect. Try again. Find someone you trust to give you constructive, supportive criticism.
  • Embrace discomfort and transformation. Practice makes perfect.

Kirsten Grorud-Colvert, Heather Mannix and Stephanie Green

Grorud-Colvert is an assistant professor at Oregon State University, where she studies the ecology of marine species and marine protected areas. As assistant director of policy engagement for COMPASS, Mannix works to facilitate constructive discussion and interaction between scientists and decision-makers. Green is an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, where she pairs ecological and social science approaches to understand the outcomes of conservation for people and nature. The views expressed are their own. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 06:00